This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Laurie Klein.                                                                                                               


Perhaps rolled in papyrus
or raw silk
the jeweled boxes arrive as small thuds.
Gifts imprint the dirt floor.
Were the magi
quiescent?—a hint of Quaker,
a touch of Zen. Perhaps there was
nothing verbal to treasure
or replay later,
save those eloquent exhalations,
the creak of joints
(camels’ and kings’),
the serial tick of straw.

For the wordless patience of
plastic wise men
enrobed in blue and mauve,
en route, step-by-step,
to our family crèche
(the wise guys I drop-kicked
downstairs, every year,
behind Mom’s back),
I atone . . . now,
as the star comes for me.

First published in Books & Culture

Laurie Klein is the author of the poetry collection Where the Sky Opens (Poeima Poetry Series, Cascade), and an award-winning chapbook, Bodies of Water, Bodies of Flesh. A past recipient of the Thomas Merton Prize for Poetry of the Sacred, Klein has also been nominated for Pushcart Prizes in poetry and Creative Nonfiction. She lives in the Inland Northwest.


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